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33 Regional Concerns either on the vessel or fixed to the shore that enable the fast loading and discharge of trailers by stevedores using yard United States. There are differences in the liability a carrier tractors. A rule of thumb that is often used is that there must has to the shipper. For example, marine carriers are statuto- be parking for two times the maximum number of trailers rily limited to $500 liability per "package" (unit), while truck- expected on a given voyage. A parking area of 5.5 to 6.5 acres ers are fully responsible for the cargo they carry but typically would provide parking for 240 to 280 trailers. carry insurance for $100,000 per shipment. Especially for It is difficult to comment on the available port and termi- coastal shipping, this difference in the liability assumed by the nal capacity to handle NAMH operations without consider- carrier can be an issue in modal choice. ing the specific commodities and markets to be served. The bigger problem is the need for waterfront land for facilities Stakeholder Class Concerns that would bring shippers closer to the services. This type of industrial expansion could be prohibitive in most existing Operators. Many operators suggest that dealing with port locations and would face considerable community oppo- intermodal marketing companies or third-party logistics (3PL) sition in many cases. providers is a good marketing strategy. However, both types of providers will often try to force the carrier's price down to maintain their own margins. Columbia/Snake River Lessons Many operators try to operate on what amounts to a "shoe- Three major factors contributed to the start-up and con- string." Because of variability in demand and high fixed costs, tinued success of container barging on the Columbia/Snake any unforeseen difficulties cause them to fail. They are unpre- River System: cooperation, commodity mix, and geography. pared for situations--such as a rail line lowering rates to keep The ports, barge lines, shippers, and steamship lines all saw its business. container-on-barge shipping as the best alternative. Steamship lines agreed to quote through rates to and from the inland ports, Miscellaneous Considerations and they were willing to position containers at those inland ports. In the past, the trans-Pacific trade was large enough to offer a suf- Land Requirements ficient mix of ocean carriers that some steamship lines chose to One of the concerns often expressed by port planners and cater to markets such as the agricultural and forest products that smaller ports is whether there is sufficient acreage available at make up the majority of the container barge movements. How- a given port to accommodate new marine highway activities. ever, the Asian trade out of Portland has dropped as a result of the Some of the literature indicates that at least 10 acres is the global economic crisis, causing some shippers to look more to minimum required size for container operations. (43, 44) It Tacoma and Seattle. Perhaps the most important factor was that is likely that smaller sites will start to constrict the required the container barges could be easily added to existing tows of traffic circulation for an efficient marine terminal. grain or petroleum barges without adding significantly to the cost Land requirements for a conceptual NAMH terminal with of the move. rail intermodal facilities and supporting business operations Shippers of low-value, non-time-sensitive cargo can afford tend to fall within the following ranges: the extra couple days of transit time in exchange for the lower transportation cost. Further, the cargo is concentrated in very · Terminal operations and storage: 10 to 20 acres, close proximity to the river system. Forest products in Lewis- · Rail intermodal yard: 8 to 10 acres, ton, Idaho; potato products in Boardman, Oregon; and hay · Supporting container industry business operations: 10 to cubes in Pasco, Washington are all produced less than a mile 40 acres plus, and from the barge docks. · Total approximate land area requirements: 28 to 70 acres The cargo is concentrated, moving from a few inland loca- plus. tions to one major hub for steamship service in Portland and on to the Far East and Europe. Having one common-user ocean These totals are for an integrated container operations cen- terminal in Portland is a great advantage. If the container-on- ter containing a variety of facilities and operations. For prospec- barge cargo needed to be split among two or more terminals, it tive node sites with adjacent or nearby distribution center would be much more difficult to aggregate the volumes needed facilities and/or intermodal facilities, an effective NAMH ter- to make economical use of ocean container terminal labor and minal could be established on as little as 10 to 15 acres of land. equipment. Given the model of a Ro/Ro vessel system, the primary The inland move is of intermediate distance (200400 mi), requirement is for a paved trailer parking area of at least which balances the cost and time factors to the shippers' 5.5 acres to support a 150-trailer vessel operation and ramps advantage.
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34 Infrastructure Requirements at a minimum, these bridges would take months to replace and, for the longest bridges over major rivers, years to restore Infrastructure and other requirements potentially include service. (8) This presents a significant vulnerability for the U.S. Ro/Ro ramps and facilities, additional drivers, cross docks, economy. A bridge that is out of commission is more than a chassis pools, rubber tired gantry cranes for Lo/Lo, and yard frustration to commuters; it can cause serious disruptions that hustlers. One study indicated that a typical Atlantic port ripple through regional trade corridors with consequences can be prepared to handle Ro/Ro traffic with a $5 million across a wide sector of the economy. investment. (8) NAMH provide significant and invaluable additional redun- dancy to the transport network when considered as a system. Redundancy Instead of a single line of communication vulnerable to being The I-95, I-5, and I-10 coastal interstates have 6,600 bridges severed by a determined attack, the network could be devel- collectively among them. Of these, 1,370 bridges have spans oped as a web that cannot be disrupted even if individual lines greater than 300 ft that cross significant features. If destroyed, are severed.